I’ve always wanted to spy on my neighbors. Now I can. When drones piloted from “over the horizon” become as ubiquitous as iPads and smartphones and as idiot-proof as using email, then not only Google will be able to look into my neighbor’s back yard. I’ll be able to video them through their bathroom skylight instead of just fantasizing about my neighbor’s wife.
Amazon wants to use drones to deliver stuff to us. So the skies will be full.
No one will notice one more drone out of millions. Picture every package on a UPS van– with its own drone. There will be millions of flights a day.
Drone manufacturing companies are all for it. So is Amazon.
But the spoilsport FAA has been slow to allow unregulated drone use when the operator is not within sight of the drone. This reduces the use of drones to not much more than a hobbyist’s toys. Too bad.
There’s so much more to what we’ll be able to do besides receive packages.
Opening the skies to drones for commercial, personal and government use will be wonderful because:
- That nosy building inspector can catch you now if you even fix even a window without a building permit
- From now on assassination of pesky leaders will be a breeze
- The IRS will know what’s parked in the drive of that country place that used to be off the grid
- What a boon to child molesters. Keeping tabs on a cute child from a safe distance? Now no problem.
- Cops will love this too! Talk about speed traps! Surveillance 24/7, and all done without sending out a car, let alone a patrolman.
- We all know the military and CIA can (and do) kill people with drones, but anyone will be able to rig a drone with a firearm now. So this will be perfect for all those right-wing militias defending Texas.
- 9/11 will look like a picnic. Those guys had to go to all that trouble to learn how to fly a plane. Now all you need is a GPS and a laptop.
- And then there’s the war on drugs. At last the DEA can follow college students right into the local park and collect evidence.
- No more paparazzi chasing celebrities. From now on, all those who pee in their garden or sunbathe naked someplace that used to be out of view will find a picture of themselves with their pants down on Facebook.
- Privacy is so has-been. We’ll all be equally famous, not just the celebrities.
- Don’t like someone? They can’t hide now.
- This will be great for divorce lawyers chasing people for child support. They can follow you all the time, see what you’ve got.
- No more pesky silence. That quiet moment at the top of a mountain after a hike? Forget it. Drones will be hovering over you, collecting funny pictures of you relieving yourself or having outdoor sex.
- The drones’ 24/7 sky-filling hum will be like breathing, like cell phones and tablets. We’ll get used to never being alone and to never being quiet.
- To date, Google Earth only works from satellites. Now they can hover outside your bathroom window.
- Talk about “up skirt” pictures! You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
And then there’s the NSA… and with thousands of drones making deliveries for Amazon and others we’ll never know which is which. The air will never be still again. We’ll never have a clear view of the sky. We’ll never be alone.
We’ll have a far better sense of community when privacy, silence and outdated ideas about minding your own business are gone forever. Some will complain but that’s just because they don’t welcome innovation.
These days corporate America can only know you by seeing what you look at and buy online (or at a cash register). Now they can really market to you! They can hover over your home, follow you, see where you walk, ride, relax, what you drive.
And because drones will be operated from “over the horizon,” you’ll never know if that child rapist taking videos of your three-year-old playing naked in the kiddie pool (who used to be out of sight behind the now quaintly obsolete fence and trees) lives down the street or in China, Russia or France. We’ll all be just one big happy global family!
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace